Prost 'not surprised' by Alonso's struggle to settle in

Alpine special advisor Alain Prost says he isn't surprised by the time it's taking for Fernando Alonso to... The post Prost 'not surprised' by Alonso's struggle to settle in appeared first on F1i.com.

Prost 'not surprised' by Alonso's struggle to settle in

Alpine special advisor Alain Prost says he isn't surprised by the time it's taking for Fernando Alonso to get fully up to speed with the French outfit, as he compared the Spaniard's F1 comeback to his own return to the grid with Williams in 1993.

The 39-year-old Alonso has admitted that he is still in the process of settling in with Alpine following his two-year hiatus from the sport.

The two-time world champion enjoyed his best result year-to-date in Baku where he finished sixth and hopes that his performance will move further forward from next weekend as F1 returns to more conventional tracks.

But Prost is hardly surprised by Alonso's relative struggles this season.

"I’m not surprised that he needs to have time," Prost said, speaking to F1's Tom Clarkson on this week's F1 Nation podcast. "It takes time. The simulator is good, but it’s more inside the car [where you need to get comfortable].

"And the physical condition, what we call more the physiology, the stomach, the whole body, the vision, the head – and don’t forget he had also the bike accident so you don’t know the effect that could have, so I was a little bit worried.

"He’s getting better and better," added the four-time world champion. "But still not completely at the top in my opinion.

"He knows that and we expect that [he’ll perform better at] the French Grand Prix, where it’s a different track, a wider circuit he knows well. So we’ll see, but I’m not surprised that it takes a little bit of time."

  • Read also: Alpine still 'actively investigating' race pace deficit

Prost inevitably recalled his own F1 comeback in 1993 that followed his firing from Ferrari in 1991 and a sabbatical the following year.

The Frenchman remembered that he was left with more questions than answers after his first test with Williams in Portugal in 1992.

"When I came back in Portugal, I asked myself why I came back!" he said. "That was a shock physically, mentally.

"I was really, really fit… unbelievably fit – I had 5% [fat] on my body. But when I came in September with a really fit condition to [test] the Formula 1, I felt completely lost.

"That means that everything you do outside [the car] is important, but it’s not as important as all the work inside Formula 1, all the muscles that you’re training, they are different muscles, all the physiology, the vision and everything, you cannot train that outside."

Prost would go on to win his final world title in 1993 with Williams, winning seven of the championship's 16 races that year.

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Mercedes needs a car that 'both drivers can push' – Wolff

Toto Wolff says Mercedes needs to field a car that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas can "confidently"... The post Mercedes needs a car that 'both drivers can push' – Wolff appeared first on F1i.com.

Mercedes needs a car that 'both drivers can push' – Wolff

Toto Wolff says Mercedes needs to field a car that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas can "confidently" push to the limit.

Mercedes heads to the French Grand Prix on the back of two disappointing displays that yielded just seven points relative to the 62-point haul enjoyed by championship rival Red Bull.

While Monaco and Baku's street circuits were venues that did not cater to the Brackley squad's W12, at least one Mercedes driver managed to perform reasonably at each track.

But Wolff, who qualified his team's recent performances as "unacceptable", insists the German outfit will only remain a championship contender if it can supply a car that performs well in the hands of both its drivers.

"We come off the back of two street circuits unsuited to our car, two circuits we knew would be difficult for us, and we were disappointed to lose a podium finish and a victory through our own mistakes," Wolff said in Mercedes' French Grand Prix preview.

"That frustration reflects the high standards we hold ourselves to, and it is what drives us forward.

©Mercedes

"In Monaco and Baku we put the W12 in a window where only one of our drivers found the confidence to unlock the performance of the car - Valtteri in Monaco and Lewis in Baku.

"In such a close, intense title fight, we need to deliver a car at each race which both our drivers can confidently push to its limits."

  • Read also: Wolff wrong to 'roast' Mercedes team in public - Horner

Wolff believes that F1's return to a traditional track next weekend coupled with Mercedes' past performances at Paul Ricard bode well for the team's prospects.

"The French Grand Prix means returning to a more traditional circuit and hopefully, better fortunes for us," commented the Austrian.

"It is a track we've gone well at in the past and, with a wide range of corner speeds that will test the car in every aspect, it's an interesting challenge for us to tackle.

"We're six races into the season and there's still a long way to go. It's looking very close at the front and we're not expecting that to change anytime soon.

"We'll be looking to turn our learnings from recent weeks into performance and to deliver a much stronger weekend with both cars."

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